today at the coffee shop
I call part-time home,
the sun bleaches the windows
& voices mingle with the hum
of the coffee machine
& the shuffle of dollars
in & out of the register.
customers come & go,
their fingers smudging the doors.
I think of you,
how you used to come each day to kiss
the rim of a porcelain cup
& talk to me about the history of revolutions
& all the nice cats you'd met around campus.
next I knew I was with you,
finding truths on aimless drives
down starlit highways,
finding truths in the maw of warm sheets
& tobacco tendrils through your window,
finding truths on a bygone beach
as thunderstorms gnawed the coast
with their lightning-strike jaws,
& finding truths at the coffee shop table
when you finally stood up
& walked away from my bullshit.
at the end of the day business here is slow,
butter slow, & the women & men of every creed,
still gripping their laptops & begging for jobs,
drape themselves across chairs like forgotten clothes.
they smile at me & look away with opiated eyes.
I think of you, somewhere far,
enjoying yourself, & remember
that I never actually said goodbye.
so I say it here, to all & no one,
hand out cups of simmering hope
& win you back inside my head.
☕ Michael McSweeney is a writer and editor who lives in Brooklyn with his partner and cat. He lives online at @mpmcsweeney.